Transition Program FAQ

The Accelerated Transition Program lets G Suite administrators migrate their organization from classic Hangouts to Hangouts Chat, and get new features on a faster timeline.

For a quick overview of the transition program, watch this video.

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Why is G Suite moving to Hangouts Chat?

We're excited to transition G Suite users to Hangouts Chat. Now every organization can benefit from our newest enterprise-grade team collaboration tool. Hangouts Chat makes it easy for teams to get work done efficiently in one place. Along with 1:1 direct messaging and group messaging, Chat supports virtual rooms to help teams collaborate on projects in one place. Teams can share files from Drive, join online meetings with Hangouts Meet, and add bots to pull other tools or workflows into the conversation.

In our experience, organizations are most successful when they can streamline their communications and move all users to Chat at the same time.

What does it mean to migrate to Hangouts Chat through this program?
G Suite administrators of organizations accepted into this program will have the opportunity to turn off classic Hangouts apps and move all their users to Chat. This switch means the following experience for your users:
  • The new Hangouts Chat experience will replace the previous classic Hangouts experience inside Gmail.
    The experience of users who previously turned off chat in Gmail won't change.
  • Classic Hangouts mobile apps will stop working and users will be redirected to download the new Hangout Chat Apps for iOS and Android.
  • Classic Chrome Extension and App will stop working, and users will be redirected to download the new standalone Chat app for a similar experience.
  • The classic Hangouts web experience (hangouts.google.com) will still be available to help ease the migration experience for users.
  • All previous chat history will still be fully accessible from both Gmail and hangouts.google.com, per the Vault retention policy set for your organization.
  • Users can join ad-hoc online meetings from Chat through Hangouts Meet.
What new features do my users get?

The Accelerated Transition Program gives users early access to new Chat features and functionality, including:

  • New Gmail integration—An updated Gmail experience with all the latest Chat features such as team rooms, bots, and file sharing. Learn more
  • Collaboration with external users—Ability to add external users to Chat conversations in rooms and 1:1 direct messages. Learn more
  • Classic Hangouts bot—This bot will help smooth the migration experience by notifying users of unread group conversations in classic Hangouts. Learn more
How do I sign up?

To be considered for the Accelerated Transition Program, fill out this application form. Only an organization's super administrator can apply. Not every organization that applies is accepted into the program.

How do I qualify?

Below are basic eligibility requirements for the program:

  • Your organization must already have both the classic Hangouts and Hangouts Chat services turned on in the Google Admin console.
  • Your organization must review and agree to the Google Cloud Pre-General Availability Program Agreement and Customer Enrollment Form.
  • Organizations participating in the Accelerated Transition Program need to migrate all users to Hangouts Chat. Your users can still use hangouts.google.com during this time.
  • You're willing to participate in surveys to provide feedback about the experience.

Please note that not every eligible organization that applies will be invited into the program.

What happens if I’m accepted to the program?

If you're accepted into the Accelerated Transition Program, we'll contact you. Once accepted, you'll see a new option in the Admin console to turn on Chat preferred. After you turn on this setting, all classic Hangout apps, except hangouts.google.com, will be turned off, and your users will get the new features described above. It can take up to 24 hours for the changes to propagate to all your users.

Before you turn on Chat preferred, we strongly recommend you review the Deployment Guide. Follow the deployment steps to set up your users for success in transitioning to Hangouts Chat.

Why should I sign up?

In our experience, the most successful organizations streamline their communications and move all users to Hangouts Chat. If some people use classic Hangouts and others use Hangouts Chat, it can cause missed messages and become a burden for administrators.

What are some limitations and known issues I should be aware of?

As with any early-access experience, the Accelerated Transition Program has some known limitations, including:

  • Phone calls and text messages using Google Voice are not currently available in Chat. Users can get these features by using Google Voice at voice.google.comor by downloading the Google Voice mobile app (Android, iOS).
  • Some direct message history from classic Hangouts will appear in Chat, but group messages from classic Hangouts (including their history) are not migrated to Chat. Users can still find these group conversations at hangouts.google.com.
  • New group messages and rooms started in Hangouts Chat can't send messages to users who are still on classic Hangouts, and the other way around.
  • G Suite organizations that don't turn on Chat can't be reached through Chat. Users can only message external users who have Chat turned on in their organization. For these external chats, people can still use hangouts.google.com. The classic Hangouts bot will notify users in Hangouts Chat of any missed messages.
  • Chat rooms are limited to 8000 members.

To learn more, review the full list of known limitations.

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